Ask Kiefer: Your Questions Answered

You’re asking plenty of questions via Facebook and Twitter. We’re answering them. Here are responses to the best inquiries of the past week:

If I’m training fasted in the morning, what are your thoughts on acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K)? Okay, or no?

I’d say yes, it’s okay. The rise in insulin you’ll get shouldn’t be much, and there shouldn’t be a big effect. And you’d be having it post-training, so a little bit of an insulin spike there never hurts.

Is sucrose metabolized differently before and after training with Carb Back-Loading?

Possibly. Sucrose has both a glucose component and a fructose component. After training, at least if you’re lucky, your liver reserves are empty, and the fructose is only going to go into replenishing glycogen reserves in the liver. If this isn’t the case, it’s possible for body fat to be created, or for you to get a buildup of fatty acids.

What’s your take on creatine hydrochloride? It’s supposedly 100 percent soluble in water. Should I take it?

A lot of people have asked me this question about solubility, but solubility has nothing to do, in the research, with how much is absorbed. This is total bullshit that’s being promulgated by supplement manufacturers. There are many more soluble types of creatine, but none of them beat creatine monohydrate. It’s cheap, it works better than any other form, and buying anything else is a waste of your money.

What do you think of the research on gluten, namely the claims that it’s inflammatory, causes sluggishness and forms a plaque around the brain?

Research has shown the first two claims, but that plaque around the brain part is debatable. I haven’t seen much on that, and it seems like much ado about nothing. Gluten can be highly inflammatory because of the gliadin protein fraction, which can actually bind with proteins in your gut. The body will see this as a potential threat vector that needs to be killed, and will commence all kinds of inflammatory responses to protect you. These inflammation triggers can affect your whole body. So yes, gluten can definitely be inflammatory and affect performance, but that’s in about 50 percent of the population. It’s basically a coin toss, at least statistically, whether gluten affects you or not.

After getting out of the gym and drinking my post-workout shake, I feel really full and have a hard time eating a lot of food. Is there a way to handle this?

I’ve had a few people ask me about this. One thing you can do is move your carbs earlier into your workouts, and have less of them—so you’d make up a workout shake with some carbs in it, along with your protein, and you’d start drinking it halfway through your workout. When you’re done training, take a break. Wait an hour before you eat, because you’ve just had all your protein. You should be able to eat plenty after that.

Is it a bad thing that creatine can make your body want to burn more glucose?

safecreatineOn The Carb Nite Solution, the answer is no. It doesn’t really matter because you shouldn’t have a lot of glucose stored up. Ideally, this would help you transition faster to a pure ketogenic diet. Even if creatine is trying to make you burn more glucose, it’s not going to happen if you don’t have any glucose. With Carb Back-Loading, this could potentially cause some slight problems because you’re going to be using glucose during the day. Carb Back-Loading is so complex, however, that worrying about a small rise in glucose metabolism caused by creatine—which probably happens mostly in nervous cells—isn’t that big of a deal. There are more important issues to worry about.

I work both nights and days, with rotating shifts. Will this affect my results with Carb Back-Loading? Is there a way to adjust the diet to my schedule?

When you mix schedules, you’re obviously up at night when you’re working night shifts, and up during the day when you work days. Having these kinds of working hours will disrupt your circadian rhythms a bit. When everything shifts around like this, the best thing I can tell you to do, if you can’t keep your sleep schedule consistent, is to try to keep your training consistent—at the exact same time of day, every day, whether it ends up being first thing when you wake up, or right before you go to sleep. This, at least, will give your circadian rhythms something to anchor to. Everything with the diet will take some experimentation here, and there’s no easy answer.

Does glutamine cause an increased release of insulin?

I don’t think so. Glutamine isn’t like leucine, and leucine is pretty much the only one I know of that will increase the insulin release all by itself. If you’re taking glutamine with BCAAs, then yes, you’ll definitely get an increase in insulin release. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

If I have carbs after 6 AM fasted resistance training, will my body still burn fat for energy during the day?

Yes, as long as the carb count is minimal. Again, I recommend 40 grams, at most, post-training—and even that can be a little too much. 20 grams of something that will really spike insulin with leucine and hydrolysates is good. Generally, if you’ve got leucine and hydrolysates, you don’t need sugar to get that insulin spike, but you can take some.

What do you think about using mass gainer shakes for post-workout meals with Carb Back-Loading?

I just don’t like many of the pre-mixed shakes. Although they’re probably okay, I’d rather have more control over what’s in my post-workout shake. If you find a pre-mixed one you like, that’s fine, but nothing is going to be fine-tuned and perfectly matched for Carb Back-Loading or The Carb Nite Solution until I create my own supplement line. If you find one that works for you, use it, but I’m not going to recommend one.

Is age ever a limiting factor with your programs?

oldmanActually, stress and overall health have the biggest impact on whether people are successful or not. In the United States, at least, the older people are, the worse their health generally is. These programs can take longer to have an effect the older you are, but the longer you stay on them, the healthier you’ll get, and the faster you’ll experience good results.

Is it okay to eat whole food post-training, rather than drinking a post-workout shake?

Yes, you can eat whole food post-training, but your results will not be nearly as good. Whole food doesn’t stimulate the growth you want after your training sessions. Remember, a training session is almost completely catabolic while you’re training. Since this is the case, you need to do something to spark anabolism after your workouts. Whole food doesn’t do this very well.

Would a full-body workout be better for someone with insulin resistance?

No. Resistance training doesn’t increase insulin insensitivity. It increases GLUT4 translocation. A whole body workout, done properly, could help you out, because your whole body will then be in a heightened state of ability to absorb glucose, but it’s not going to help your insulin resistance. Losing body fat and controlling how you eat your carbs is what will affect that.

Okay, but wouldn’t full-body workouts increase my resting energy expenditure (REE) on rest days more than body part split sessions?

No. REE is not increased more than 30 minutes past a training session, and, in general, that effect disappears after a few weeks of training. Increasing your REE is going to come with more muscle mass, and you can get more muscle mass by splitting your workouts than you can by doing them full-body style.

I can’t tell whether I’m in ketosis, and sometimes it feels like I’m not (based on your descriptions), even though I’m not eating any carbs. What’s going on?

Not everybody actually goes into ketosis. Ketosis is an unnatural state where your body is making too many ketones, and you have to urinate and/or sweat them out. Not everyone goes through this, so there’s no definitive way to tell if you’re in ketogenesis or not other than a blood test. It’ll occur for some people, but not everyone, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

Tonight is my carb nite, but I’m recovering from the flu. Should I postpone it until I’m feeling better? Or will the carbs help with my recovery?

If you’re recovering from the flu, meaning you’re no longer sick and you’re on the mend, do your carb nite. If you still have the flu, I would skip it. I’m actually a big fan of starving any sickness of carbohydrates. Your body activates a lot of powerful immune system responses when you don’t eat carbs and you’re sick, so skip it if you’re still in the middle of it, and have it if you’re starting to feel better.

  • T. Marriott

    This is great. Many thanks for taking the time to reply. Have you thought about doing 15 quick fire question sessions on Facebook? They always seem pretty popular.

    Quick question Kiefer. Lots of well established coaches recommend beta-alanine peri workout. I’m guessing that if you thought it was worth while you’d recommend it too. Have you seen any significant results either in subjects or studies to warrant trying it?

  • Matt Wachtel

    This is awesome.

  • Eric Strong

    Thanks for this Keifer and for your program. I like the psychological effect CNS has on my sweet tooth; allowing for a planned/controlled/mandatory “binge.” Quick question. Having tried Adkins/Protien Power multiple times with obviously limited success, except for the first time 15 years ago, I am concerned. As many times as I have gone ULC, and then gone the opposite with HFCS lifestyle, have I damaged my metabolism? I am an actor and I want to get down to a swarthy 10-12% BF. Age 41, at 23% BF, I started the CNS 2wks ago(two total carb nights), and I have noticed a slight difference in body comp but no noticeable weight loss. However, I am comfortable because I am not experiencing hunger and my energy levels are better than before. My fear is that I have somehow immunized myself from benefitting from this kind of system. Please assuage my fears as best you can and any training recommendations would be much appreciated as well. Or put me in contact with someone whom I can pay, here in LA, to help me implement your system, i.e. CNS, CBL, Shockwave. Many thanks and keep it coming!!

    • Rakesh Patel

      I would give it at least 4 more weeks. In addition, throw the scale away. Go by measurements, the look in the mirror and how your clothes fit. Depending on the training, you may actually put some muscle on while losing fat. This can have an illusion of no “wt loss”

      • Eric Strong

        Just figured out what I was doing wrong after going back and looking at some of the BioJacked interviews. CNS protein to fat ratios post 10 day adjustment should be 1/.5 per pound of desired weight. Total caloric deficit for the week will be compensated for on Carb Nite. Or something to that effect. I have been consuming way too many fat calories. Thanks for your response!

        • Rakesh Patel

          just keep in mind that the 1:0.5 (P:F ratio) is just a minimum requirement for fat. If energy goes down or you do not feel good, you might have to adjust up on the fat

          • Matt Wachtel

            How are you measuring? When I first did CNS, my scale weight went up (Yes, went up). If I didn’t take daily progress pics, I would have thought that my progress was being super slow, but the pics told otherwise. One of my biggest hurdles was/is the mind game of it all, and wanting things too fast. Consider that before giving up on the diet, as two weeks is a very short time when considering body changes!

        • Laxer

          I did the same thing. It makes life a lot easier. 1:1 protein to fat is tough to do, and it was stalling my progress.

  • Adam Duggan

    Really great idea to do a Q and A article. Do more…please?

  • Trevor Fullbright

    Great Q&A Kiefer, you should do these more often.

    One I’d be interested in hearing about is PWO nutrition and HIIT.
    Say I’m doing HIIT the in the morning and lifting + Backloading in the evening, would you still advise a carb-free PWO Shake? Is there any situations that would change your recommendation?

  • samorost

    How come you´re so sure that split is more effective than fullbody training? Talking about split wehre you train part once a week?

  • AD

    You’re blowing up some serious dogma with the full-body/REE comment. Care to elaborate further for our circuit training friends out there?

  • Richard

    Thanks Kiefer for more awesome information!

    In order to get into a faster ketogenic state while on The Carb Nite Solution, how much would creatine would be ideal post CN to burn through the stored glucose?

  • Drewtai

    Kiefer, you say 40 grams of carbs post training may be a little too much. What about the experimental protocol of carb niet on your video blog. You say for a male to have 2 bananas post training. That would be 62g carbs plus the protein shake. Please explain the experimental protocol. Thank you

  • Sheena Chan

    Hi Kiefer, what are your views on Jason Ferruggia’s claim in the Renegade Diet that those with body temperatures less than 98.6 have depressed metabolisms and therefore should not attempt any diets until they get their temps back up?

  • Ryan Saplan

    Hey kiefer I’d like to know how a split program does more for muscle gain than a full body workout. If you do mind linking to an article/paper, or if you want you can respond. It doesn’t sound like a short answer though.

  • Damon

    very helpful tips. Come out of hiding more often!

  • Surfingsmoothie

    What do you think about the analysis of protein powders that was on Reddit? He claimed that many protein powders don’t have the amount of protein claimed on the label. Of course, plenty of brands were left out.

  • kasiemarie

    What’s the difference between carb night and carb back loading? Should I be doing both?

  • Jarred Trouve

    Keifer, due to my schedule I will have to start training first thing in the morning during the week but I will still be able to train in the afternoon on the weekends. For CBL should I backload like you outline in the book depending on the time I am training or should I be doing something different? Thanks

  • Kevin

    With a ketogenic diet, does calorie expenditure still have to exceed intake in order to achieve fat loss, considering calorie per gram of fat is greater than that of carb?

    • SquidEatinDough

      Do you even lift, bro?

  • Jim Person

    Thank you Kiefer for your dedication and persistence in the fight to get your findings and knowledge into the hands of all of us who are looking for truth not opinions but science backed knowledge. my wife had here gallbladder taken out and had a horrible time on CNS do you have any advice for here. once again thank you, I am 44 years old and have been up and down with my weight, before starting CNS I was the heaviest I have ever been 263 lb. after just 2.5 weeks i am down to 145 lb. i’m feeling better then ever and cant wait till i’m under 200, i have your books and I am enjoying learning more and more every day. THANK YOU!!!

  • Terry Went

    Hey Kiefer the program sounds amazing I wanted to know if an exercise program comes with the manual or any high resistance workout would work?

  • Robo

    Hi Kiefer, I have a possibly strange question that I haven’t seen specifically asked regarding the research you have conducted and your interpretation of the material, specifically surrounding your assertions about what you refer to as “tGLUT”. I read CBL where you indicated that tGLUT rises in muscle tissue independent of the presence of insulin following resistance training. My question is I was wondering if anywhere you read or discovered with complete certainty that resistance training triggered this translocation in a localized effect strictly in muscle tissue, rather than a centralized effect in all tissues. Have you read any studies where tGLUT translocation in adipose tissue was tracked post workout?

  • Frenchie

    You say in a video about alcool and CBL that alcool can prevent catabolism. Do you think it is possible to incorporate alcool in the prreparation phase to keep the muscles? I’m a bit afraid to lose my muscles, I worked hard to gain some muscles.
    I just wanted to say that your book is awesome, I’m looking foward to start CBL, I’m just waiting for my supplements, can’t wait :)
    Sorry for my english, I’m french

  • Denise Deckert

    If I am ending The Carb Nite Solution do I begin the transition meal plans the day after a carb nite or in lieu of carb nite?